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Archive for 08/03/2011

Libya Allying With Islamists, Qaddafi Son Says

08/03/2011 Leave a comment

By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK – “TRIPOLI, Libya — After six months battling a rebellion that his family portrayed as an Islamist conspiracy, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s son and one-time heir apparent said Wednesday that he was reversing course to forge a behind-the-scenes alliance with radical Islamist elements among the Libyan rebels to drive out their more liberal-minded confederates.

‘The liberals will escape or be killed,’ the son, Seif al-Islam el-Qaddafi, vowed in an hourlong interview that stretched past midnight. ‘We will do it together,’ he added, wearing a newly grown beard and fingering Islamic prayer beads as he reclined on a love seat in a spare office tucked in a nearly deserted downtown hotel. ‘Libya will look like Saudi Arabia, like Iran. So what?’

The leading Islamist whom Mr. Qaddafi identified as his main counterpart in the talks, Ali Sallabi, acknowledged their conversations but dismissed any suggestion of an alliance. He said the Libyan Islamists supported the rebel leaders’ calls for a pluralistic democracy without the Qaddafis.

But the interview nonetheless offered a rare glimpse into the defiant, some say delusional, mentality of the Qaddafi family at a time when they have all but completely retreated from public view under the threat of a NATO bombing campaign, now five months old, and a six-month rebellion.

On one level, Mr. Qaddafi’s avowed embrace of the Islamists represents a sharp personal reversal for a man who had long styled himself as a cosmopolitan, Anglophile advocate of Western-style liberal democracy. He continues to refer to the Islamists as ‘terrorists’ and ‘bloody men,’ and says, ‘We don’t trust them, but we have to deal with them.'” Read more.

Killers of Libyan rebels’ military chief were members of an Islamist-linked militia allied to the rebel campaign  – “The gunmen who shot dead the Libyan rebels’ military chief Abdul Fatah Younis were members of an Islamist-linked militia allied to the campaign to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi, according to a National Transitional Council minister. After 24 hours of confusion surrounding the death, the NTC’s oil minister, Ali Tarhouni, said Younis had been killed by members of the Obaida Ibn Jarrah Brigade, a militia named after one of the companions of the Prophet Muhammad, suggesting that Islamist elements were involved.” Read more.

US Air Force Suspends Decades-Old Bible-Centric Ethics Training

08/03/2011 1 comment

DADT2 on the horizon? At this rate it’s only a matter of time before the US government places Christians serving in the military into their very own ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy …

By Bryant Jordan – “The Air Force has suspended decades-old Bible-centric ethics training intended to make Christian officers comfortable with the possible use of nuclear weapons. The training program was given to all new missile officers by Air Force chaplains.

‘We’re in the process of reviewing that training and we’ll make a determination whether or not to continue [it] or if it will be a different course,’ Air Education and Training Command spokesman Dave Smith told Military.com.

Smith said the ethics training has been in place more than 20 years, although he didn’t know exactly when it was begun.

The training slides include quotations from the Bible, portraits of Christian saints, prophets, and famous American generals known for their faith, including George Washington, Union Army Gen. Joshua Chamberlain, and Confederate Gen. Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson.

Every new missile officer had to take the training at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, regardless of their own religious beliefs or lack of them, according to Smith.

AETC halted the ethics training last week after an article on the training was posted at Truthout.org. Former Air Force Capt. Damon Bosetti — described as a missile officer who took the training in 2006 — said he and others referred to the religious section of the ethics training as the ‘Jesus loves nukes speech.'” Read more.

Categories: Anything Else

New Mexico: Mystery Surrounds Hundreds of Dead Fish at Lea Lake, ‘A Fish Kill Like This Has Never Happened Before in This Area’

08/03/2011 Leave a comment

“ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – Something mysterious is happening at Bottomless Lakes State Park. Lea Lake is closed to swimming after hundreds of dead fish started washing up on shore Friday.

An empty lake on a hot summer day is an unusual sight for Lea Lake, which is normally packed with swimmers this time of year.

‘It is extremely weird to see it this empty,’ explained lifeguard Leonardo Granados. ‘Even on weekdays there’s still quite a few people that come out. Weekends, that’s the worst whenever there’s the most people, probably about 200 people come out,’ Granados said, referring to how packed Lea Lake usually is.

Granados has been a lifeguard at Bottomless Lakes for three years. With the recent fish-kill, his duties have changed from making sure people in the lake are safe, to keeping an eye out for dead fish.

‘We use a net, put on some gloves, we’ve got this little trash picker-up and just use that to pick up the fish,’ Granados said.

A fish kill like this has never happened before in this area. Lifeguards said they noticed something strange when the normal group of fish that used to hang out right next to the dock, weren’t there anymore.” Read more.

Categories: Mass Animal Deaths

Australia: Thousands of Dead Fish Wash Up Along Lake Alexandrina’s Shore

08/03/2011 Leave a comment

By Michael Milnes – “THOUSANDS of dead fish have washed up along 8km of Lake Alexandrina’s shore.

With the health of the River Murray and Lower Lake system at its best in years, the mass ‘fish kill’ is a mystery.

Point Sturt resident Dot Ratcliffe said she was alarmed to find the problem when she went kayaking on the lake yesterday morning. ‘I saw them (extending) about 400m out in to the lake,’ she said.

‘It’s terribly upsetting, very distressing. There are thousands of fish washed up, something you do not want to see. I have been living here for 10 years and never seen anything like this.’

Bio-security aquatic pest manager Vic Neverauskas said Primary Industries would investigate the circumstances of the fish deaths as soon as possible. Most of the fish appear to be bony bream.” Read more.

Categories: Mass Animal Deaths

‘Massive Quantities of Dead Fish’ Found in Former Soviet Republic of Georgia

08/03/2011 Leave a comment

Georgia, Tbilisi, August 3 / Trend N. Kirtskhalia – “Massive quantities of dead fish have been resolved in Adjara, where several hundred kilograms of dead fish were found in lakes near Batumi during the last two days.

The local authorities have begun studying this issue.

The cause was asphyxia, the decrease of oxygen concentration in the water due to intense heat, the Ministry of the Environment told media.

Damage caused by the dead fish has not been accounted for.” Source.

Categories: Mass Animal Deaths

Powerful Solar Twister That Looks Like an Angel Leaps to a Dizzying 93,000 Miles Above Sun’s Surface

08/03/2011 Leave a comment

“An enormous plasma twister rising from the sun’s surface has been caught on video by a Nasa satellite.

And the twirling eruption, which swirled up to 93,206 miles above the solar surface, has a remarkable resemblance to an angel.

The tornado-like solar twister lasted just a few hours, when an eruption of magnetic plasma, called a prominence, whirled up from the sun before splitting into four different strands and fading away.

Solar astrophysicist, C. Alex Young of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, told Space.com: ‘Its height is roughly between 10 to 12 Earths’.

The magnificent display happened on July 12 and Mr Young said that the angel-like formation was down to a matter of perspective.” Read more.

Categories: Cosmic Craziness

Satellite Image Shows Ash Plume Drifting From Krakatoa

08/03/2011 Leave a comment

By Mark Dunphy – “A newly released NASA satellite image shows an ash plume drifting from a volcano that produced one of the largest eruptions in modern history.

Anak Krakatau (also known as Krakatoa), a volcanic island in the Sunda Strait between the islands of Java and Sumatra in Indonesia, has been intermittently active for the past several decades.

The island exploded in 1883, killing approximately 40,000 people, although some estimates put the death toll much higher. The explosion is considered to be the loudest sound ever heard in modern history, with reports of it being heard nearly 3,000 miles (4,800 km) from its point of origin. The shock wave from the explosion was recorded on barographs around the globe.

On July 31, 2011, a wispy ash plume rose above the volcano and drifted west… The natural-colour satellite image was acquired by the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) aboard Earth Observing-1 (EO-1). Dark gray areas of Anak Krakatau are composed principally of lava flows deposited in the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s. These flows are topped by a young cinder cone near the center of the island. Green vegetation covers older lavas along the eastern coastline.” Read more.

Categories: Natural Disasters

Italy: Mount Etna Wakes Up Again with One of the Most Intense Eruptions of the Year

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“Mount Etna on Sicily, Italy’s one of the most famous volcanoes, started erupting once again this weekend. Flames and sparks have been shooting into the air, reaching a height of about 250 meters, according to witnesses.

Whenever Etna comes alive, local authorities always fear that the ash clouds and heavy smoke could cut off the island from the continent by block flights out of Catania airport. However, strong winds helped this time. The ash has been blown away towards the Ionian Sea, with no flights cancelled or delayed.

Mount Etna, which remained inactive for six months, started erupting on Saturday morning and continued through Saturday and Sunday. With the latest activity, the grand total of Etna eruptions for this year stands at eight, which makes the year 2011 quite an active year for the Sicilian volcano.

Etna’s eighth paroxysmal eruptive episode of the year 2011 lasted less than one day, with a phase of lava fountaining activity lasting about 2-3 hours.

This was the most intense eruption since the first one in the night of 12-13 January this year. Unlike the earlier eruptions, except for the first one, the lava flow emitted during the 30 July paroxysm was longer. It immediately reached the sloping terrain to the north and northeast of Monte Centenari.” Read more.

Categories: Natural Disasters

Volcano in Canary Islands May Be Getting Ready for Eruption

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By Tammy Lee Morris – “The Hierro — or El Hierro — volcano located in the Canary Islands may be getting ready for eruption, according to information on the website Earthquake-report.com. An earthquake swarm that has numbered 700 or more small quakes under the volcano has occurred recently, raising concern that the volcano may be working up to an eruption.

What is an earthquake swarm? It is a series of small magnitude earthquakes that strike in the same location over a (usually) short time period. Earthquake swarms are common precursors and warnings to volcanic activity.

The Canary Islands are located off the northwestern coast of Africa, near the border between Morocco and Western Sahara. They are a chain of islands known as an archipelago and are legally a nationality of Spain. There are 13 islands in the archipelago and the Canaries are a popular tourist destination…

It is uncertain when El Hierro last erupted, but it is believed there may have been an eruption in 1793. The location of the current earthquake swarm is at the northwest part of the island near the El Golfo cone, which, according to Volcano Live, was the site of a landslide that was responsible for a tsunami 50,000 years ago that measured just over 300 feet in height.” Read more.

720 Earthquakes Recorded On El Hierro In The Canary Islands – “An unprecedented 720 earthquakes have been recorded on El Hierro, the smallest of the Canary Islands, during the past week. The earthquake swarm has even prompted the Canary Islands Government to convene the first ever meeting of the Steering Committee and Volcanic Monitoring, reflected in the Specific Plan Protection Civil and Emergency for Volcanic Risk, given what it described ‘the significant increase in seismic activity’.” Read more.

Categories: Natural Disasters

Guggenheim CIO: Europe on Brink of ‘Major Financial Collapse’

08/03/2011 Leave a comment

By Gennine Kelly – “Europe is a ‘train wreck’ and on the ‘brink of a major financial crisis,’ Scott Minerd, CIO of the fixed-income firm Guggenheim Partners, told CNBC Tuesday.

‘The way Europe is operating right now, it’s what I called recently ‘cognitive dissonance,” Minerd said, or ‘basically doing the same thing thinking they’re going to get a different outcome.’

‘They keep throwing more and more liquidity at it thinking it’s going to get better and it’s not,’ he added. Europe fails to recognize that it has a ‘structural problem, not a liquidity problem.’

People will ‘flee the euro’ unless they find a way to bifurcate the euro in some way where strong countries are in the euro only and the weak countries are out, Minerd explained, adding, ‘To be honest with you, I don’t see the mechanism to do that.’

‘As the capital is flooding out of Europe, which we’re starting to see now, the first place it’s going to go is to the safe havens—[U.S.] Treasurys, which [the market] perceives to be safe, and it’ll chase gold,’ he added.” Read more.

Greece in panic as it faces change of Homeric proportions – “In one of the biggest banks in the centre of Athens a clerk is explaining how his savers have been thronging to pull out their cash. Wary of giving his name, he glances around the marble-floored, wood-panelled foyer before pulling out a slim A4-sized folder. It is about the size of a small safety-deposit box – and those, ever since the financial crisis hit Greece 18 months ago, have become the most sought-after financial products in the country. Worried about whether the banks will stay in business, Greeks have been taking their life savings out of accounts and sticking them in metal slits in basement vaults.” Read more.

Eurozone panic as Spain and Italy edge closer to economic collapse – “The eurozone faced fresh financial fears today as Spain and Italy edged closer to the spiralling abyss of debt engulfing the region. The two countries have both been crippled by painfully slow economic growth but so far managed to avoid the kind of handouts given to Ireland and Greece. But the stock indexes in the two countries plummeted today while the yields on their bonds soared to record highs, sparking a risk of them defaulting.” Read more.

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